Greenland Week Kayak Competition Rules


The OFFICIAL RULES for Competitors, Judges and Fans

Kayak Academy’s 2011 Greenland Week Kayak Competition Rules


Place, Date and Organizers

    • The event is called the “Greenland Week Kayak Competition”
    • The event will take place on the weekend of October 28th to 30th, 2011 at Lake Sammamish State Park, 2000 NW Sammamish Rd., Issaquah, Washington 98027 (9 miles east of Seattle).
    • The event is hosted by Kayak Academy, 11801 188th Ave SE, Issaquah WA 98027, phone .
    • The chief organizers are George & Barbara Gronseth, Helen Wilson, and Dubside.

Late afternoon: Rope gymnastics practice
Evening: Individual ropes gymnastics competition in 15-minute time slots

10:00am Race. Hosted by Sound Rowers Association (SRA). {add link}
Race registration is on race day: $18.00 for non-SRA members $8.00 SRA members.
Lunch: Soup, chili and drink will be available. Non-racers are invited to take part in the lunch with a suggested donation of $4 per person.
Kayak Academy will loan Greenland Paddles for SRA members competing in race. Call to reserve
6:00pm  Dinner featuring Northwest cuisine.
7:30pm  Evening program

Morning: Harpoon and Rolling

  • Harpoon for accuracy exhibition (non-scored fun contest)
  • Harpoon for distance contest
  • Individual rolling competition in 15-minute time slots     

Starting times, exact schedule, and order to be announced on Friday.

 Afternoon:  Results announced, prizes awarded


III. Equipment

  • A closed deck kayak, one inch minimum of Freeboard Rear Deck is required for the on-water events (measured with the competitor seated in the kayak).
  • Surf skis, outrigger kayaks, and Olympic-style racing kayaks are prohibited.
  • There is no restriction on materials or construction of kayaks used.
  • The paddle must be a traditional Greenland design, narrow enough so that the paddler can comfortably grip the blade anywhere along its length. (Aleut paddles are acceptable provided they meet the same blade width/grip rule.)


IV. Prizes and Awards

  • Prizes will be given to the top scores in individual events and other categories as sponsors are available.
  • All entrants who achieve the minimum qualifying score in ropes and rolling will be recognized by Kayak Academy. Minimum scores to qualify: Ropes 20 points; Rolling 30 points. 


V. Judges

  • Individual rolling and ropes routines will be scored by at least one judge per participant.
  • Judges will have a working knowledge of the standards and format of the discipline they are judging.
  • A judge may also compete but is not eligible for any prize.


VI. Time Allocation & Scheduling

  • For both the ropes and rolling events the time limit is 15 minutes.
  • A clock showing the official time will be visible to each competitor as they perform their routine.
  • Ropes and rolling may be done at more than one judging station with competitors in each time slot starting simultaneously. Selection of which contestants are assigned to compete together is at the sole discretion of the competition officials. In general, those of similar skill level will be grouped.
  • Competitors will be assigned and notified beforehand of their scheduled time slot. At each designated time the judge will start the clock. A competitor who arrives late, without prior notification of extenuating circumstances, may use the remaining time but the clock will not be reset.


VII. Posting of Scores

  • Officially verified scores and standings are announced Saturday evening.
  • Final scores and standings are announced Sunday afternoon.
  • With the cooperation of the judges and their assistants, the event personnel may display a running score total as each participant competes during the ropes and rolling contests. However, these numbers do not become official until verified by the judging committee.


VIII. Disciplines

  • Kayak Race.
    • The race will be facilitated by “Sound Rowers Association”. The “Traditional Arctic Kayak” division will be one class in a larger race involving other classes of human powered boats.
    • To be included in the Traditional Arctic Kayak race division:
    • The boat must be a sit inside kayak; i.e., a boat which the competitor could perform a roll, if sufficiently skilled.
    • The boat must not have a rudder.
    • An Aleut/Greenland style paddle must be used. The widest part of the blade must be no greater than the distance between the first joint of the thumb and the second joint of the middle finger.
paddle blade rule
  • The race distance will be six miles
  • Participants who arrive more than five minutes late to the starting line forfeit the race.
  • If a participant drops out of a race, he/she should inform an official about this as soon as possible. But it is preferable that a participant returns to the official start-area to inform the officials.
  • Every racer must aid and assist any other racer who requires help when no chase boat is nearby. Failure to do so will result in disqualification from the race. Race officials will determine the commensurate adjustment of race results, taking into account all available witness observations.


  • Harpoon Throw:
  • For the harpoon throwing discipline, the throw will be judged for distance.
  • Harpoon must be thrown with the kayak moving forwards. The distance to get up to speed will be in a designated zone 10-15 meters long, and the throw must be completed before the competitor’s body crosses the throwing line.  
  • Kayaks should have the appropriate deck rigging and/or asagiikkut (harpoon holder) to prevent the harpoon from falling off while the kayak is being paddled.
  • The harpoon shall be thrown with a norsaq (throwing board).
  • The harpoon throws count only if the harpoon point lands first. The distance will be measured at the spot where the point first hits.
  • Harpoons can be borrowed from Kayak Academy or competitors may bring their own, but they must weigh a minimum of one kilogram (2.2 lbs). Harpoons with metal ends or bladed points attached are not allowed.
  • Competitors are allowed two attempts; the sum of the two distances thrown becomes their final score.
  • It is the responsibility of all participants to ensure that no one is hit by a harpoon. Anyone may call a halt to the activity so as to correct an unsafe situation.


  • Qajaq Rolling:
  • The thirty-five maneuvers done in the Greenland National Championships will be followed with the exception of:

#19 Avataqami isserfiup taqqaanut (roll with hunting float)
#34 Pusilluni paarneq (paddling upside down)
#35 Nusutsinneq iluarisamut (the walrus pull).
These rolls will be omitted, shortening the list to thirty-two moves. (#17 Pallortillugu assakaaneq - storm rolls done for speed, will be included as of the 2011 Competition.)

    • #’s 29-31 Ujaqqamik tigumisserluni (the brick rolls) will use a masonry brick weighing approximately 3.5 kilos (about 8 pounds).
    • #’s 26-28 Assak peqillugu (rolls with closed fist) will be performed with a ping pong ball or similar object held in fist.
    • Rolls are to be performed in the order of the list, on both sides. A competitor can skip any roll or side desired but forfeits the opportunity to attempt it later.
    • Only one attempt per move is allowed on a given side.
    • The clock does not stop while a competitor is getting the brick or ping pong ball.
    • The point values are the same as used in the Greenland National Championships. Judges may score rolls done successfully but poorly executed at the “lower” value (one point less).
    • The judge may call the names of the rolls in Greenlandic. However, it is not necessary to wait for each maneuver to be called out. A competitor may memorize the list order and link each move to the next in rapid sequence. Competitors may also arrange for someone to give translations in English or any other language.
    • Nose plugs may be used for the rolling competition.
    • Gloves or mittens are allowed but must be worn the same way for all the rolls in a person’s routine.
    • If the tuilik or spray skirt comes off or is removed from the coaming during a competitor’s routine, their point score at that moment becomes their final score. 

  • Rope Gymnastics:
  • Rope maneuvers will be as per the Greenland National Championship list of seventy-five maneuvers, but only the twenty-seven “Low Ropes” moves (#’s 1-26 and 29) will be used.
  • The rope will be 5/8” (15.7mm) in diameter. Dimensions for the ropes uprights are between 3 to 5 meters apart, tied off two meters above the ground, and hanging down to not more than 1.2 meters without weight.
  • The rope maneuvers must be performed in the order they appear on the list. Skipping moves is permissible but doing so precludes the chance to attempt them later.
  • Only one attempt is allowed on each maneuver.
  • The backpack for the qajaasaarneq series (#’s 13-19) maneuvers will have a working hip belt and weigh between 5 and 10 kilograms.
  • The clock does not stop while the backpack is put on, taken off, or adjusted to fit the competitor. Before starting to compete, a person may examine and adjust the backpack.
  • Gloves are not allowed for the ropes event.
  • A coach is allowed to assist and advise a competitor but cannot touch him/her or the ropes during each attempt.

IX. Championship Scoring

  • To determine the overall winner, the standings in each event will earn championship points weighted according to finish rankings: first place = 21 points, second place = 18 points, third place = 15 points, fourth place = 12 points, fifth place = 9 points, sixth place = 8 points, and seventh place = 7 points, eighth place = 6 points, ninth place = 5 points, tenth place = 4 points, eleventh place = 3 points, twelfth place = 2 points, thirteenth place = 1 point.
  • For the ropes and rolling disciplines if two competitors have equal point scores their percentage of successful moves will be used to break the tie. The success rate is calculated by the total point value of moves done successfully divided by the total point value of moves attempted. For example a person who only does the side scull (2 points), chest scull (2 points) and standard roll (2 points) on both sides would get a score of 12 with a success rate of 100%. Another person who did those same rolls but also tried a storm roll (3 points) and failed would get a score of 12 with a success rate of 80% (12 ÷ 15 = .80).
  • To more closely approximate the relative values of the different events in Greenland in which there are four separate races, the single race in this competition will be weighted double, earning 42 points for first place, 36 points for second place, and so forth, down to two points for thirteenth place.
  • Each competitor’s championship point total is calculated as the sum from each of the events: Rolling, Ropes, Harpoon, and Race. The highest championship point score is the overall winner of the competition.


X. Qualification/Disqualification

  • A participant is to be disqualified if in a judge’s opinion:
  • He/she has been physically assisted by others during a competition.
  • He/she has physically disturbed another participant during a competition.
  • He/she has used improper equipment in a competition.
  • He/she has taken a wrong route or has not been through all official posts.
  • Alleged incorrect actions beyond the limits drawn up here will be taken under consideration by the competition officials and a determination made as to the appropriate penalty or disqualification.


XI. Complaints.

  • If an official in a competition acts or makes decisions that violate the rules contained here, a complaint in written form should be delivered to one of the organizers as soon as possible, and not later than Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm.
  • Individuals affected by the complaints should be given a chance to explain themselves before any decision on the complaint is taken. After consulting on the matter the organizers may issue a decision on the spot or determine that further consideration is warranted. Rulings from the designated head competition official are final.


XII. Disputed Results or Rulings

  • Any disagreement and/or dispute regarding rules, disqualification, judging, prizes, scheduling, etc. may be appealed to the designated head competition official whose ruling will be final.
  • In order to be taken into consideration, all disputes must be raised before 2pm Sunday afternoon.
  • As in Greenland, judges' scoring sheets for rolling and rope gymnastics are not shared with competitors or the public.
  • Participants, spectators, volunteers, sponsors, and staff should bear in mind that the event is meant to be a fun, educational, and enjoyable celebration of Greenland kayaking culture. As they say in Greenland, “We train hard, we compete hard, but afterwards we are all friends.”


 Greenland Week Competition Rules drafted Nov 15, 2009 by Dubside, Helen Wilson, George & Barb Gronseth, revised 2011


Complete List of Competition Rolls for Championships in Greenland, courtesy of Qajaq USA

List of Ropes Gymnastics Moves

Greenland Week Home

Greenland Week Competition FAQ